Care Guide for Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish – Housing, Food, and Breeding
The neon dwarf rainbowfish, a beautiful fish of almond shape with a dazzling blue sheen that flashes in the light, is incredibly rare. This hardy species is quite active and has a mild disposition that pairs well with many peaceful and semi-aggressive tank mates. Learn how to care for this beginner-friendly rainbowfish.
What are Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish?
Melanotaenia Praecox, a rainbowfish measuring 3 inches (8 cm), can be found in streams and tributaries to the New Guinea rainforest. The males have a bright blue body and red-orange fins. The females have a silvery, yellow body and fins. They are a small Melanotaenia species and relatively affordable for rainbowfish. You can buy them for $5-$7.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Neon Rainbowfish
Since they are a fast-swimming fish, we recommend keeping them in a longer aquarium, such as a 20-gallon long or 29-gallon tank at the minimum. Dwarf neon Rainbows are a tropical species that can tolerate temperatures between 74 and 80 degrees F (23 to 27 degrees C). Although they can handle a wide range in pH and GH, they prefer harder water. We like to add crushed coral to buffer the pH.
Neon rainbows look amazing in planted aquariums, and taller plants can help block line of sight when the males are tussling with each other. Rainbowfish love to swim freely, so make sure that the foliage isn’t too dense.
How should praecox rainbows be kept together? Rainbowfish require at least 6 of the same species. For males to be able to communicate with each other, they need at least one female. Plus, males display their best colors and get a shiny stripe on their heads when they show off in front of females.
What fish can live with dwarf rainbowfish? With their deeper-bodied profile and quick speed, they can go well with many similar-sized tank mates, ranging from peaceful to semi-aggressive temperaments. We have kept them with angelfishes, pearl gouramis and tetras. They also get along corydoras catsfish and smaller cichlids. They will eat your cherry shrimp but they tend to leave the larger amano shrimps and filter shrimp alone.
What does the Praecox Rainbowfish eat?
These fish are easy to care for and will eat anything that is put in their tank. We like to give them smaller foods that float or slowly sink – such as frozen cyclops, brine shrimp, and nano pellets. They love bloodworms, flakes and fish food. The key is to provide a variety of foods to ensure they receive a well-rounded diet with all the necessary nutrients.
How to Breed Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Rainbowfish are egg scatterers and do not require any parental care. As long as you have fish of both sexes and feed them well, they can easily spawn every day, but their 1 mm eggs produce very tiny fry that can be hard to raise. A floating spawning mop is placed in the tank. This allows the adults to lay eggs in the yarn strands. To keep the water warm, fill a cup with water from the tank. Place the spawning mop full of eggs inside the catch cup and add an air stone to keep the water well-oxygenated. Some breeders will add a few drops of methyleneblue or cherry shrimp to the water to prevent fungal growth.
The eggs should hatch within one week. The fry need to be fed very little food, like vinegar eels, microworms and infusoria. Frequent water changes are also necessary to keep the water quality high. After two weeks, the rainbowfish fry should be large enough to eat live baby brine shrimp, which is the best food to ensure healthy and fast growth of the babies.
The neon dwarf rainbow is a favorite because of its energetic behavior, iridescent scales and small size. You can find them at your local fish shop, or you can order them online from our preferred vendors list. However, if you’re looking for an even more petite species, read our care guide on the forktail blue-eye rainbowfish.